Methos' Journal: April 1996
by Lisa Hughes


following events in the episode "Methuselah's Gift"

I should be sleeping. I don't remember when I last slept. But I need to find some clarity, center myself, if I'm to be of any use to her when I return. Alexa.

Desperation can do funny things to a person. It can make them consider things they would normally dismiss. Take risks that otherwise wouldn't occur to them... I almost had it. I came so close I could taste it, only to have it slip through my fingers. And now I am on my way back to Geneva, with wasted time my only prize.

Alexa's illness turned the corner so fast I couldn't track it. In the space of three weeks she went from a vibrant if fragile woman standing on a beach, to a wraith lying in a hospital bed. She was slipping away from me so fast... it was just so unfair. I kept thinking of all the places she'd never been, things she'd never see or do. Time I'd never share.

Then I remembered the crystal. The Methuselah Stone. What if the legends were true? It was as if there was a voice was whispering in my ear. I knew how to find all the pieces. The thought kept growing in my mind as I sat in that hospital room holding her hand. Luther had collected all but one of the pieces before MacLeod took his head. The idea loomed larger and larger until it became all-consuming. And I knew where the last piece was. It grew from a fairy story into my one and only chance to save her. All I had to do was go and get them. What if the legends were true?

I went to Watcher Headquarters outside Paris and managed to talk my way in to see the crystals the Watchers took from Luther's place. I saw them sitting there, so unprotected, as if they were nothing more than bits of glass. Just another artifact for the collection. To me they looked like a promise. And it looked like getting them would be a piece of cake. I should have known better.

When I went after the ones at Headquarters, I came face to face with Amanda. Blonde, for some reason, and furious. She pulled her sword, came after me, and I accidentally tripped the alarm, dumping the crystals in my effort to keep out of reach. There was no opportunity to ask what the hell had gotten into her. Once I got off the grounds I put it out of my mind. I needed to stay focused. Whatever Amanda was doing there and whatever her problem was, it could wait.

Then MacLeod called demanding a meet. I really hadn't intended to see him. And now that he'd called, I was reluctant. I think I was afraid he might try to talk some sense into me, and I was way past that. So prepared was I to refuse to listen, it never occurred to me that Duncan could have another motive for the meet. And it hurt. Amanda was the one with the idea, but I could see doubt in Duncan's eyes. Reluctant doubt, to be sure, but doubt nonetheless. If I hadn't been so raw anyway, maybe I could have given him the reassurance he craved. But as I was... so much bitterness crowded up my throat I couldn't even begin to respond without damaging our friendship forever. So I swallowed it, and left.

How could he think that of me? How could he doubt me? How many times must I prove myself to this man? Even now, the prospect makes me weary beyond expression.

Then Amanda wanted a meet. I was irritated, it was another interruption, and as far as I was concerned, reassuring Amanda of my continued good faith could wait. But I wasn't really worried in any case, even if the meet wasn't on holy ground. I didn't know she would be attacked on the way, which would confirm that I was behind it all along, at least in her mind.

I was furious with her, but I didn't want her head. I could have had it even before I took her sword, but I didn't want it. And she really thought I would do it. Incredible. She was in far more danger of me deciding to beat some sense into her. But I didn't do that either. I've known Amanda for too long not to know she was just reacting to her own fear. And she has always done that by coming out swinging. Amanda is one of my oldest friends. So I decided to talk to her instead. At least, that was my intention.

How to explain to her about a woman whose courage awed me? How to describe a woman with such purity of heart that it made this old man feel clean for the first time in centuries? How to convey a sense of wonder and delight in the world so powerful that it made it seem fresh and new even to these jaded eyes? Instead of reason, I ended up giving vent to my frustration and anger. And despair. Amanda understood anyway. She's loved and lost before. But in the end, it wasn't Alexa that Amanda decided to save... it was me. Not Alexa's desperate plight, but my own. We have been friends a long, long time.

Amanda never once tried to tell me that I was chasing a pipe dream, or that I knew it had to be this way from the beginning. She never tried to make me be sensible or rational. When Amanda is on your side, her partisanship is total. She will do anything, absolutely anything, to help a friend. That's who she is. And I'm afraid that right now MacLeod suffers by comparison.

Getting in the second time was more difficult, but Amanda is very, very good. Unfortunately they were ready for us. They caught us, and shot me when I tried to divert them from Amanda. She got away with the crystals, but I died in front of them. And awoke to my personal nightmare. Held captive by people who knew what I was and how to kill me.

I was afraid for myself, of course. Personal survival has been my primary motivation for too long to claim otherwise. And those fears were borne out when Stern decided my existence was a threat to the Watchers. I thought it was over. I've faced that moment before, that moment when I am convinced I've breathed my last. It's never a pleasant thing, and this was no exception, but I knew that Alexa would live, and that was something. Amanda would take the crystal to her, and MacLeod would be there to push her along when her greedy little soul started getting the better of her. (I love the brat dearly, but I know exactly what she is.)

Fortunately, I suppose, the little weasel was able to convince Stern that the crystal was more of a danger than I. And they decided to use me, trade me for the crystal.

I knew that MacLeod and Amanda would be ready for some kind of double cross. For Amanda it would be a simple matter of covering her cute little behind, and for MacLeod, well, he has never completely trusted the Watchers. And there was still a chance that we could get out of it both with the crystals and with my head still attached. But none of us could have anticipated a young Watcher -- the aforementioned weasel -- who'd gone into business for himself, so to speak. Turned out he was the one who went after Amanda and the last piece, hoping to become like us.

MacLeod handed over the last piece of the crystal. The weasel put the final piece into place, and I saw the magic. My hopes soared, in spite of the situation. The legends were true.

While their attention was focused on the crystal, MacLeod made his play. His diversion was enough to give us an edge, but the crystals went into the river. All except one. And we couldn't stay to search, what with all the bodies around. And all at once, my hopes collapsed. All I could think of was getting back to Alexa.

Amanda offered me that last piece. For luck, she said. But all it represented to me was failed hope, so I told her to keep it. I know what it means to her. She wished me courage and kissed me goodbye.

Maybe MacLeod was right all along about my needing to accept Alexa's mortality so I could get on with treasuring her last days... I don't know. What I do know is that "right" is cold comfort when what you need is a friend. Perhaps he'll learn that in time.

So now I return to Alexa's side. And soon -- all too soon -- I will lose her. Even the anticipation of that pain is enough to bring me to my knees. But I cannot let that pain overwhelm me if I'm to be there for her.

Courage. I wonder if I have enough left.